Cama Beach Historic Resort Buildings Exhibit
There is an important pre-history to the point named Cama Beach. Archaeological evidence has determined that Native American people used this area as a summer camp for the last 4,000 years, possibly longer. Early accounts indicate that Coast Salish people from the Kikiallus, Bsigwigwilts and Snohomish tribal groups used this rich marine resource area as a seasonal camp or village. The first known modern activity here was the logging camp that existed there for two - three years about 1908.
This exhibit includes photographs showing the horse drawn road grader leveling the beach as the buildings were being built in the 1930s. Also included are photographs of the resort era cabins, bungalows, store, lodge (recreation hall), fire truck garage, machine shop, boatman's house, and other support buildings. Only a few of the photographs in the collection can be dated precisely but the store, waterfront cabins and bungalows were built first in the early 1930s. The residence was added to the back of the store in the 1941 with an addition in the 1950s. There are only a few photographs of the lodge or recreation hall with its large stone fireplace - it burned in the July 1977. There are also two "maps" of the early resort plans.
There were about 24 waterfront cabins originally and 6-8 deluxe cabins, one of which was used as the owner's residence until the residence behind the store was built. Some of the cabins were moved around as the resort made upgrades. Of the 9 or10 original bungalows, most were significantly damaged by the 1990s and only one remains. Cama Beach evolved through the years but eventually began to decline. Unlike the other resorts on Camano Island, Cama Beach was never divided into lots and sold as waterfront cottages. The buildings are now being actively used, the cabins and bungalow are rented. State Parks staff and volunteer groups provide interpretive activities on marine life, natural and resort history for park guests and the Camano Island community.